Use a Heart Map to identify a youth’s important relationships
Use a Heart Map to identify a youth’s important relationships as soon as they enter care.
Who Can Do This?:
The Problem It Solves
Many foster youth enter care with more connections than they leave with. If a supportive adult is not an immediate placement option, they are usually not tracked meaningfully by the system. Even if a contact does not play a permanency role for the youth, these contacts can play a significant role in the youth’s development. The Heart Map exercise provides a meaningful way for staff to surface these contacts with youth, in order to maintain and strengthen those relationships.
How To Do This
- Download a Printable Heart Map.
- Encourage the youth to list “someone in their heart” on each line, and draw more lines as needed.
- As soon as a youth enters care, walk them through a Heart Map to quickly surface the people who are important to them.
- Make an action plan to set up visits, phone calls, social media, and/or other continuing connections with each identified contact.
- Share the action plan with a youth’s entire team, including their foster parents, so everyone can help achieve it.
The two lines on the heart are strategic - more than one line prompts thinking about multiple relationships, but there are not too many, as not being able to fill in all the lines would be disheartening.
We are still collecting concrete data, but believe that this:
- Increase the number and presence of supportive adults in youth’s lives
Who’s Doing This?
This play was contributed by Think of Us.